Connect with us

TV

Abigail’s Party (BBC-1 1977, Alison Steadman, Tim Stern)

Published

on

Abigail's Party (BBC-1 1977, Alison Steadman, Tim Stern)

Abigail, the eponymous entertainer of this exalted Play For Today, was never actually seen. She was in the house next door, throwing a party for her teenage friends. It might, therefore, have been more appropriate to call the drama ‘Beverly’s Party’, for that is where the action took place.

To coincide with the teenage bash, neurotic neighbour Beverly had organized her own little gathering for the grown-ups. Along with Abigail’s anxious mother, Sue, local residents Angela and Tony were invited, and making up the select group was Beverly’s stressed-out husband, Laurence. As the evening dragged by, the drink flowed freely, the grating Beverly forced everyone to endure the ‘fantastic’ Demis Roussos on the stereo, and marital tensions reached fever pitch as she obliviously sailed through a series social blunders.

Abigail’s Party was the play that confirmed the talents of writer/director Mike Leigh and his then wife, actress Alison Steadman, who had previously collaborated on an earlier Play for Today, Nuts in May (1976).

It had first been performed on stage at the Hampstead Theatre and some of the dialogue, even in the televised version, was improvised. The play has become a cult and, in 1997, BBC 2 presented an Abigail’s Party night to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its first transmission.

production details
UK / BBC-1 / 1×100 minute episode / Broadcast 1 November 1977

Creator & Director: Mike Leigh / Producer: Margaret Matheson

Series: Play For Today Season 8 Episode 3

cast
ALISON STEADMAN as Beverly
TIM STERN as Laurence
JOHN SALTHOUSE as Tony
JANINE DUVITSKI as Angela
HARRIET REYNOLDS as Sue

Advertisement












Latest

Penny Princess (1952, Dirk Bogarde, Yolande Donlan)Penny Princess (1952, Dirk Bogarde, Yolande Donlan)
Movies5 hours ago

Penny Princess (1952, Dirk Bogarde, Yolande Donlan)

In Penny Princess, a tiny European country which for years has survived financially only through evading its bills and smuggling is...

39 Steps, The (1959, Kenneth More, Taina Elg) 39 Steps, The (1959, Kenneth More, Taina Elg) 
Movies5 hours ago

39 Steps, The (1959, Kenneth More, Taina Elg)

Ralph Thomas’s film is the least well-known of the cinematic versions of John Buchan’s ripping chase yarn. And yet, as...

Thief of Bagdad, The (1940, Sabu, Conrad Veidt)Thief of Bagdad, The (1940, Sabu, Conrad Veidt)
Movies5 hours ago

Thief of Bagdad, The (1940, Sabu, Conrad Veidt)

Producer Alexander Korda’s fantastical Technicolor delight, inspired by the 15th century tale One Thousand and One Nights, retains its considerable...

Operation Amsterdam (1960, Peter Finch, Tony Britton)Operation Amsterdam (1960, Peter Finch, Tony Britton)
Movies5 hours ago

Operation Amsterdam (1960, Peter Finch, Tony Britton)

‘Michael McCarthy’s considerable experience in the documentary field is well in evidence in this semi-factual war melodrama set in Nazi-occupied...

Castaways: Only The Lonely (ABC 21 Aug 2018)Castaways: Only The Lonely (ABC 21 Aug 2018)
Episodes5 hours ago

Castaways: Only The Lonely (ABC 21 Aug 2018)

Only the Lonely: Tim and Krichelle meet Eric, who has been on a solo journey and feels hesitant to join...

Castaways (ABC 2018)Castaways (ABC 2018)
TV5 hours ago

Castaways (ABC 2018)

Visually stunning, new reality series Castaways follows 12 diverse individuals as they’re dropped alone throughout various islets in Indonesia and...

Carter (WGN 2018, Jerry O'Connell, Sydney Tamiia Poitier)Carter (WGN 2018, Jerry O'Connell, Sydney Tamiia Poitier)
TV6 hours ago

Carter (WGN 2018, Jerry O’Connell, Sydney Tamiia Poitier)

Carter is a 10-episode comedy drama series that revolves around Harley Mackay (O’Connell), an actor playing a detective on a...

Alien (1979, John Hurt, Sigourney Weaver)Alien (1979, John Hurt, Sigourney Weaver)
Movies6 hours ago

Alien (1979, John Hurt, Sigourney Weaver)

When Ridley Scott was chosen for Alien , he was on a roll from The Duellists and delivered a slick...

Sailor Beware (1956, Ronald Lewis, Peggy Mount)Sailor Beware (1956, Ronald Lewis, Peggy Mount)
Movies6 hours ago

Sailor Beware (1956, Ronald Lewis, Peggy Mount)

The mother of all mother-in-law jokes. Peggy Mount raises the decibel levels of durable British farce Sailor Beware. She plays...

Previews

TV